African-American and Latino churchgoers have happier relationships because of their Christian faith, study finds out

A capacity crowd fills the pews during a prayer service for the shooting victims held at the Morris Brown AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, on June 18, 2015.Reuters

The relationships of African-American and Latino minorities are chiefly defined by their Christian faith, according to the authors of the new book entitled "Soul Mates: Religion, Sex, Love, and Marriage Among African Americans and Latinos."

University of Virginia sociologists W. Bradford Wilcox and Nicholas Wolfinger of the University of Utah discovered during their research for the book that African-American and Latino couples who go to church together tend to have happier relationships and more pleasant family life, reported NBC9.

Although going to church does not automatically equate to a happy, stress-free life, being active in church has a positive effect on attendees' relationships and family life, the researchers found out.

"One big reason so many families of colour are thriving is that they tend to be more religious than the average American," said Wilcox. "Our book shows that churches are achieving an important measure of success in fostering lower rates of non-marital childbearing, more marriage, and happier relationships among blacks and Latinos."

Majority of African-Americans and Latinos actually place high value on relationships. Wilcox and Wolfinger conducted a survey and found out that 56 percent of blacks and 68 percent of Latinos believe it is better to be married than to be single, compared to only 54 percent of whites who expressed the same belief.

At the same time, 80 percent of Latinos report being happy in their relationships when both partners attend church, while 78 percent of black churchgoers shared the same view.

Because of their findings, the two researchers maintain that "shared faith supplies moral, social and spiritual solidarity and that religion seems especially important in turning men's hearts and minds toward their wives or partners."

And because those belonging to these minorities define "code of decency" as "hard work, lawful behavior, temperance, and sexual fidelity in married and unmarried relationships," their religious faith makes them better men.

"Black and Latino men who attend church are more likely to be employed, to steer clear of substance abuse, and to avoid incarceration," Wilcox said.